As detailed previously the government has decided against making reforms to cohabitants legal rights in the current parliamentary term. The Law Society strongly believes that changes are needed to cohabitation law to give couples proper redress in the event of a relationship breakdown.
Law Society President John Wotton said: “The Law Society believes that the current legislative framework for cohabitation is unnecessarily expensive, and that reforms to it could reduce costs, free up time for the Courts, and provide separating couples with a more satisfactory experience.
“The government’s response is that the family justice system is already under review. However the Family Justice Review specifically excludes ancillary relief; the financial proceedings surrounding the separation of a couple, let alone cohabitation law, which remains dealt with under civil – not family – rules.
“One of the roles of the law is to protect the vulnerable. The law that currently exists for cohabitants is disjointed and grossly inadequate. Solicitors practising family law regularly see injustice when cohabiting couples’ relationships break down. Unmarried couples who are living together and those who are still married, but are now living with a new partner, need to know where they stand in the event of a break-up.”
If you are unmarried and purchasing a property and would like to review your rights please contact our Family or Property departments for a free initial appointment to discuss your options.